An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


Mama Chronicles: Life after having a Baby & 2016 thus far

So my priorities have somewhat changed since the birth of our son and it’s been months since I last updated this blog.

In the last post I wrote about my new motherhood being sabotaged by the universe and the battles we might face. Those challenges have been so real and have kept me away from my blog these last few months. And because they take up so much of my energy and focus, I’ve found bite sized social media to be much more suitable for the delivery and documenting of my daily life. I mostly blog for myself as a kind of cathartic release and frivolous archival of my interests so I haven’t been too concerned about maintaining readership with constant updates. That being said, I think people who are still reading or following me on Instagram are really cool. Thanks for the interest and your friendship. If I haven’t already met you, let’s hope you reach out and we have brunch some day!

It breaks my heart to acknowledge that my baby was dealt with a really lousy deck shortly after he was born and while I’m often overwhelmed by it (several times a week we see doctors, go for tests or have ongoing therapy appointments), I’m also thankful that we are able to afford all the time and money for all the care he needs.

T’s game has sold decently well since it launched a year ago. Other than on the Sony PlayStation 4, Axiom Verge is now also available on Steam & The Humble Store for PC, Mac and Linux; and most recently for the PSVita. Later this year, it’ll also be available on the Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft Xbox One. While sales have started to plateau, we’ve managed our finances well enough to see us through the next couple of years as the next game is being developed. We still live a modest lifestyle but we can now afford more fresh, organic produce as opposed to mostly eating frozen veggies, and no longer need to maintain a $25 weekly grocery budget – very important when you have a new baby.

The most exciting thing in our lives now is Happ Home 2, which Dan (T’s business guy) dubbed “The House That Axiom Verge Built”. It’s a new construction home in the southwest of Las Vegas that we found after almost half a year of searching – we took as much as 80% of the available upgrades to customize everything to our liking and a few days ago, decided to pay for the house in full. This is basically the nicest and most appropriate house we can afford at the moment. To be honest, the cost of living in Las Vegas makes the deal really sweet and this house would cost 6 times as much in Singapore. With no major debts – car, house and T’s student loans fully paid for, I feel we are ahead of the game compared to other people in their late 30s and intend to keep it that way.

The Universe gives and the Universe takes. After T made the transfer of funds for the house, he told Gummi “Daddy bought you a house today! What do you think about that?” and that made me cry because I felt so emotional about how we are at this stage of our lives. Then T turned to me and said “the house is like life insurance now that it’s paid for. If I die or should anything happen to me, at least you have the house”. That made me cry too… WHO DOES THAT?!?! Why on earth would you talk about dying to your wife?!?!!!?! My husband’s idea of sweet talk… Le sigh.

I guess that’s all I need to put down for posterity. In the near future, I hope to be able to update my blog at least once or twice a month – maybe some OOTDs, maybe about the progress of Gummi’s condition, maybe about the new house… There are so many things going on in my life now, I don’t want my thoughts on them to completely slip through my stubby fingers. But till then…

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Mama Chronicles: I have a son

It’s 4.45am as I write this. I’m partway through expressing milk with a breast pump while T is sitting next to me in bed bottle feeding our son who’s 6 weeks old. It’s been our nightly routine for about 3 weeks now. Before that, Gummi had spent the first few weeks of his life in the NICU fighting an infection that almost killed him – and that was one of the many reasons I had been kept away from my blog. Now that we’ve had time to settle in as a family, I felt I needed to pen my thoughts about the journey that brought us to this very quiet moment in the wee hours of the night – if not for the readers who follow my blog, at least for myself.

So the last few weeks leading up to my scheduled c-section were just filled with doctor’s visits and lots of bed rest for me. I struggled with low amniotic fluid, fluctuating (low) blood sugar, nausea/vomiting (even up till the night before) and then there was also the issue of Gummi being Frank Breeched. I was really looking forward to delivering my baby and having all the pregnancy issues magically disappear.On the morning we left for the hospital I was so happy that we even took some photos to document the last pregnant OOTD of 2015!Before delivery, my biggest fear at that time was the pain – I was afraid of the surgery and recovery itself. Of course, it turned out that I had gotten it all wrong. After a pretty painless and fast c-section, I was wheeled into recovery while T followed them to the NICU with Gummi. My diabetes caused my tiny (5lb 8oz) baby to have low blood sugar and they had T formula-feed him repeatedly throughout the day to stabilize his blood sugar. T became a pro at feeding and changing our son while I was in a daze and high from the morphine – the drug-induced shakes took about 2 hours to disappear. And when they were allowed to, they brought him to room-in with us. When I saw my son, I was so deliriously happy I announced that I wanted to do this again. I felt so much love for the tiny baby lying on my bare chest that I knew the problematic pregnancy I endured was nothing. Like many babies of Asian descent, Gummi had Jaundice and he was sent to the NICU for phototherapy when he was 2 days old. After 2 1/2 days, they cleared him of jaundice, discharged him and we went home happily together. But our happiness was short-lived.

2 short days after we got home, he was admitted into the NICU again. What started out as the post-discharge Well Baby check-up with our pediatrician became a nightmare that dragged on for 2 weeks. Gummi’s Bilirubin levels had spiked and they were at a level that was considered to be dangerous and brain-damaging. At St. Rose Sienna, the doctors told us he was exhibiting signs of kernicterus. We were told to be prepared – cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, brain damage etc, because his was one of the worst cases they’ve seen. My world collapsed. I was overwhelmed with anger and hopelessness. When they told us he had to be transferred to Sunrise Children’s Hospital immediately for exchange transfusion, we were given no choice and were told that it was the only way we could save him (only later were we told that our insurance didn’t cover this hospital and he had to be transferred out after the transfusion, at the risk of another infection or pay the full cost of his treatment out of pocket).

Other than being reminded of the mounting medical bills, I had to watch every tiny limb, including his belly button become an IV or a line out as the medical staff tried to work around whatever they could. I remember just standing there watching helplessly as my tiny baby screamed his shrill cries of pain as he was continually pricked. While still recovering from my c-section, the physical pain was numbed because I was so emotionally distraught.

Over the following few days, I watched my week-old baby fight for his life as he went from the peachy pink colour he was born with, to highlighter yellow and what could only be described as zombie grey with a green tinge. I felt like I had let him down and that I made him defective. It wasn’t fair that he had to suffer like this.

In the duration he was at the NICU (subsequently transferred back to St. Rose Siena), he had a MRI, several EEGs, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), amongst multiple blood draws daily for more testing and even had to be fed via a tube through his nose. My baby’s fine veins were so stressed that they all collapsed one by one. There was nothing we could do except watch and cry. And cry I did. This wasn’t how I had envisioned our new life as a family. I felt shortchanged.

Mostly though, I felt so alone and far away from my support network. Even T who’s usually more collected, buckled under the pressure. He asked me if I had taken pictures of Gummi on the day he was admitted. He had forgotten what our baby was wearing that day. I knew in my heart of hearts that my husband was starting to fear the reality of losing our child, that he was thinking that it would be the last picture we would have of our child outside the hospital and my pillar of strength was crumbling too.

As soon as she could, my youngest sister bought an (overpriced) ticket and hopped onto the next flight here from Singapore, distributing her workload to the mercy and kindness of her colleagues. Just so she could be here with us. My mother wasn’t due to come till a week later and she couldn’t get her ticket changed. I really needed them all.

Over the last few weeks, I shared some of my thoughts and pictures of the on-going situation on my personal Facebook as well as (in a much more limited capacity) on Twitter and Instagram. There was an outpouring of support, goodwill and positivity that radiated from those near and far. While I couldn’t have replied to every one of those messages, I made sure I spent time reading them and it really helped me through the last few weeks. When we finally got Gummi home, we didn’t want to let him go. We were so afraid of losing him and all we wanted to do want to hide him from the world to protect him. Save for the daily trek across the valley to different specialists, we just stayed home and kept to ourselves. I guess all we could think of was to prevent him from getting sick again, especially since nobody could tell us what caused his bilirubin to spike and how to prevent it from happening again. Our pediatrician even said that with all his ailments and the different doctors/therapists he’s seeing, our son is a walking pediatric encyclopedia.

Now that we’ve had our son back for 3 weeks and settled into a routine, I feel more confident. While we still don’t know what is wrong with him except for a bad luck case of UTI that almost took his life, we were told that he’s growing stronger every day and that we should stop being fearful and just enjoy him. Starting with short walks around our neighbourhood (in his pram), we managed to venture out to Olive Garden, a neighbourhood Thai restaurant called Benjarong, IHOP and The Cheesecake Factory. Slowly but surely, our little baby will get to know the world – not just the confines of our home, hospitals or clinics.

So that’s the short version of what’s been up… If you’ve been following me on Twitter and Instagram, and sending me positive messages of encouragement, thank you. Thank you for helping me get through this very dark period. While we don’t know what the future holds and how much damage has been done (until he’s at least 2 years of age), we are going to enjoy every minute and savour our time together. Will he ever talk? Can he hear? What can he see? Will he walk? We don’t know. Only time can tell. But we’ll get through whatever other hurdles lie ahead, as a family.

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Mama Chronicles: Things people say to pregnant women

I can’t believe I’ve made it! We’re near the end of the pregnancy and if anything were to happen now, he can be safely delivered. You know, I’ve stayed away from the blog mostly because I haven’t had much time to sit down to even cobble a post together and I’ve been focussing my energy on getting through the pregnancy as well as the next phase of our lives.

T and I are planning to move to a slightly bigger house (a modest upgrade from our current home) with a more child-friendly layout. If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that we live in a 3-storey house and child-proofing the stairs is a nightmare in itself. We also don’t have a nursery at the moment because the other bedrooms are on a separate floor from our master bedroom. So house hunting has been a big part of the last few months other than the fact that we’ve been busy with the business since the game launched.

Among the many things people say to me, they want to know what exactly I do? Am I not just a housewife? Technically I am because I don’t have a day job and I work for my husband, from home. I manage the merchandise sales, stock as well as the bookkeeping. We do have an accountant to help us file taxes several times a year, but I have to do the daily nitty gritty administrative work for them to do their work. I spend about 3-4 hours a day on the business – packing parcels, post office runs, stock taking, reordering stocks, managing the administrative work, talk with our accountants etc. The rest of the day, I actually do household chores and run errands. So yup, I do kinda/sorta work even though my time is my own to manage.

Coming back to the title of this post, here are some of the things that people have said to me since I’ve gotten pregnant – things that have stuck me as rather odd.

1. What tips do you have to get pregnant? 

So I had a miscarriage a few months prior to getting pregnant again. T and I weren’t in a hurry as I was still emotionally traumatised. We actually took our time and got pregnant 6 months after the D&C. I have nothing to add to the equation except, have sex. Lots of it!! I didn’t go for any fertility treatments or ingest any medicinal concoctions (or cross my legs in the air HAHAHAHAH).

Other than that, my friend Ana did give me some Young Living Progessence Plus and Geranium. She gave me some tips on how to use the oils and I just did as I was told. She has lots of tips and tricks with regards to using essential oils so check out her blog!

2. Don’t listen to your doctor! Get a second opinion.

I’ve had this said to me several times. One person said that “nobody dies from childbirth anymore! Medical science is so advanced!” when I told them that my doctors classified me as high risk and it might be a really difficult pregnancy. Ironically, this person failed to realise that people don’t die from childbirth anymore because they LISTEN TO THEIR DOCTORS!

Another person said that advanced maternal age “is something that American doctors came up with” and you’re not at risk just because you’re over 35. But I’m from Singapore and even there, we have precautionary measures for mothers over 35, you know?

I know the number is quite arbitrary because you could be 3 months shy of 35 when you deliver and be in the “safe zone”. But why take the risk?

I also had someone who told me to ALWAYS seek a second opinion because doctors tend to be pushy about their own agenda. So far, I haven’t had a doctor whose opinions I’ve been uncomfortable with so I feel sorry for those who’ve had such an experience.

Anyway, there is the internet and you have a mouth. Look up information on your own or ASK!

3. Why aren’t you trying for natural birth first? 

Until I told people I was pregnant, I didn’t realise there was a special club for mothers who endure labour and get inducted into the Motherhood Hall of Fame. I’ve had this asked of me several times by different people.

My stand is, I want to science it. Sorry, I’ll take recommendations from medical professionals only. Medical science is there for a reason. It works. I told T that I want ALL THE DRUGS! And everything that will help the delivery go as smooth as possible. My pregnancy has been fraught with so many unexpected issues, I think I’ve done enough to earn my badge. If I don’t need to deal with any pain, I don’t want any of it.

If I can avoid having an emergency c-section or a tear in my privates or some crazy painful long-drawn experience, why shouldn’t I?

4. You should totally try this diet/supplement because my dad/friend/aunt has and it works. 

One key issue that has plagued me throughout the pregnancy is my diabetes. While it was well controlled with proper diet and exercise before I got pregnant, pregnancy hormones kinda pushed it out of whack.

Your organs basically overwork when you’re growing a human and that’s just what it is. I’ve been told by the perinatologist that once I deliver the placenta, my levels should return to pre-pregnancy normalcy.

I know that people think gestational diabetes is totally different because I was diagnosed as having Type 2 before I got pregnant, but IT IS NOT. When you’re pregnant and have diabetes, the treatment is the same as gestational diabetes. I’m sorry even if you’re a mother who’ve had 3 children *koffkoff* I trust my OBGYN and the Perinatologist more, okay?

5. Every pregnant woman has the same problems. Don’t complain.

UNTRUE! Even my Perinatologist sighed and said she pitied me. Some people have almost no symptoms, most people have a combination of some but I am one of the unfortunate ones with lots of issues.

Like most women, I suffer from the regular pregnancy-related problems – backaches, body swelling, cankles, toes that look like little sausages, major water retention, pregnancy carpel tunnel, blurry vision, lethargy etc on top of some others. In fact, my morning sickness didn’t stop till a few weeks ago in the early part of my 3rd trimester. Even then, I’ve thrown up a few times in the last few days. The surprising thing is I’m not eating and drinking enough even though I’m far from thin – so I’ve had to supplement with whey protein shakes.

2 weeks ago, I start twice-weekly monitoring sessions (30 minutes each time. They do a short ultrasound and strap a machine on my belly to monitor G’s heart/breathing for 20 minutes), on top of my OBGYN appointments twice a month and perinatologist appointments once a month at the high risk pregnancy center. My own mother said she would’ve fired me a long time ago if she had such a troublesome staff in her company. T assures me you can’t do that in the US. HAH!

I’ve worked really hard to keep my blood sugar level steady and I do everything they tell me to. In fact, they initially predicted a large “sugar baby” and thought I might have to have an early c-section. Now G is considered smaller than the average American baby and I might be able to deliver vaginally. AND I’ve been so strict with my control that I actually suffer from hypoglycemic shock quite often. My insulin intake has been monitored closely and I get the dosages adjusted weekly but even then, it’s so difficult to predict.

Recently, my body started this thing that’s puzzling even to the OBGYN. I have hot sweats AND cold sweats at the same time. It starts with me feeling generally unwell and I’ll break out in a sweat. My head (and hair) would be wet and freezing cold while my chest (and neck) would be sticky and super hot. In the beginning, I thought I wasn’t doing it right but T checks me out each time it happens and he can tell the difference. From what we can tell, it’s pregnancy hormones doing a number on me again. We’ve taken my temperature several times it happened, with a digital thermometer, and it’s always the same – a little lower than normal, even though I just want to take a cold shower.

So to other pregnant Mamas out there, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your experience is yours. If you’re lucky to enjoy a smooth pregnancy, embrace every moment of it! If you’re not, I hope you have good support like I do.

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Fat-shionista #610


It’s been almost 2 months but I’m back (for a little while anyway). If you’ve been following me on instagram, you’d know that I’ve taken ill quite a few times during the pregnancy and we’ve gone away on a 2-week roadtrip last month (our token Babymoon). I haven’t really done any outfit posts because a) lack of motivation b) it takes too much effort to put myself together when I feel icky all the time c) don’t have that many clothes for this stage of the pregnancy. So in other news, I’m almost there and the baby can come any day now if he wishes (we hope he stays in there for a few more weeks to strengthen his lungs though).


In view of the arrival of baby G, I’ve decided to try to be as frivolous as I can these last few weeks. I’ll have to swap out cute shoes and purses for a diaper bag and easy to wear foot coverings for quite a while, I suspect. T surprised me with this awesome Betsey Johnson Gumball Machine bag recently and it made me perk up! I’ve been so unenthusiastic about everything since we’ve been told that I need to eat/drink more to help G grow and increase the amniotic fluid so he can turn. It seems like the Summer heat does get to me and I eat a lot more during Winter.

So anyway, what I’m wearing today:

Top: Black cold shoulder top from eBay seller dhd-batteryshop

Accessories: Purple shades with gold “eyelash” accents from eBay seller zerouv; Black & yellow geometric acrylic statement necklace from H&M

Bag: Pink Gumball Machine bag from Betsey Johnson

Bottom: Dark-blue denim shorts from OLD NAVY Maternity

Footwear: Pink Jelly Sandals from eBay seller greenlimeorangeIMG_2256


Fat-shionista #609

So my 2nd trimester has come and gone. I should really write a post about how it had been. In fact, there are so many things I want to blog about but my energy level seems to have dipped again. This baby is getting BIG! I can tell the difference between baby belly and fat belly – obviously I started the pregnancy being fat so I already had padding there. The baby bit is hard and tight. It’s been super uncomfortable. Also, a few weeks ago, I started feeling weird buzzing and experiencing numbness in my hands. Turns out, I have pregnancy carpel tunnel. My grip has been weak and I keep dropping things. Feet and legs, also swollen. I’m trying my best not to live in comfy leggings, baggy tops, without make-up etc. One of the few frivolous things that makes me feel normal is dressing up.

IMG_1624Tonight we’re heading out to a potluck dinner party with a small group of Singaporeans (and some Indonesians) who live in Las Vegas. And this is what I’m wearing.


What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Black & grey half-sleeve plaid dress from GAP Maternity

Accessories: Blue & black striped Bronwyn bangle from Kate Spade; Blue acrylic chain mail necklace from eBay

Footwear: Gold bow-tie ballet flats from Old Navy


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Fat-shionista #608

This is another non-maternity outfit. I think I’m doing pretty well with adapting my wardrobe considering I’m already 7 months pregnant. This is a new dress I recently got on sale and I can definitely see myself wearing it for as long as my shoulders fit. It’s really generously cut, stretchy and has 2 pockets! I KNOW… pockets in a dress!!! The dream! HAH!


What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Grey printed long-sleeved flared dress from GAP

Accessories: Neon Yellow lace collar necklace from eBay

Footwear: Beige/Dark Taupe moto boots from Madden GirlIMG_1585_2


Fat-shionista #607


I think this is my only “real” maternity dress. So far, my wardrobe consists of regular clothes stretching their abilities to accommodate my burgeoning belly. Other than that, I have basics like maternity tank tops, leggings and shorts that I mix and match on a daily basis. I like this dress for the cut and print – I think understated silhouettes is the best way to wear florals. The yellow is really cheery and I think I can continue wearing it even when I’m not pregnant. The best part is, I got it for 50% off when I caught a GAP sale at the right time recently – just a little over $30.

I’m usually a UK16 (US12-14) but lost a little bit of weight during my 1st trimester due to the crazy things my pregnancy hormones put me through and I’m now a US10 (maternity size). I got this dress in a Medium.


What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Yellow Floral empire-waist dress from GAP Maternity

Accessories: Pink acrylic baubles statement necklace from FOSSIL

Footwear: Sparkly pink sneakers with stretchy laces from CONVERSE (I believe this is a Youths range and I’m wearing the largest size.)IMG_1532